how to plant coffee beans
Growing Coffee Beans at Home
Growing coffee plants at home is a rewarding experience that will help you learn and appreciate the work involved in producing coffee. It is a very easy plant to take care of and is a great conversation piece, especially during flowering or cherry development.
When home growing coffee beans, you should start with a freshly picked coffee cherry. But unless you are in a producing country, however, this may not be possible and you can skip to section 2.
Harvesting Coffee and Preparing the Coffee Seeds
Ripe coffee cherries should be harvested and picked from trees with a high production and without any disease or other affliction. Pulp the cherry by hand, wash with water, and ferment in a small container until the pulp falls off. This can be determined simply by rubbing the coffee bean in you hands during the fermentation process. Wash again with fresh water. Any coffee beans that float at any stage of washing should be discarded. The coffee beans must then be dried to about 20% moisture content on mesh screen in open and dry air, but not in direct sunlight. After pulping, a coffee will have between 60-70% moisture content so you can determine the appropriate stopping point simply by weighing the beans. Otherwise, you can bite the bean open to ensure that it is dry on the outside and slightly soft and moist on the inside. Alternatively, a pulped coffee bean can be used immediately for planting and in some areas this is considered advantageous.
Germinating Coffee Beans
If coffee cherries are not readily available, green coffee can be purchased from a green coffee supplier, but it is essential that the bean is of a recent crop and recent shipment. I would recommend ordering green coffee from Sweet Maria's and asking for the most recent crop. Sweet Maria's also provides tips for growing coffeea arabica at home.
The potential for germination will continue for almost four months, but after this time the germination rate is several fold less and germination time is significantly longer. Fresh seeds should germinate in 2.5 months, but old seeds can take as long as 6 months. Coffee in pergamino is even better. If this is available plant the coffee face down in the pergamino.
It is advisable to pre-germinate the seeds. First soak the coffee seeds in water for 24 hours. Then sow the seeds in damp sand or wet vermiculite in which the excess water has been drained. Otherwise, you can place the seeds between moist coffee sacks, which should be watered twice a day and drained well.